Grow veggies in your garden with this countertop hack

This Hackaday Prize entrant converted his Koolatron wine cooler into an Arduino-controlled kitchen garden.

Having long enjoyed growing his own food, Eric William had been on the lookout for a commercial indoor unit that would enable him to grow vegetables, herbs and sprouts year round. Turns out, most products on the market significantly lacked the necessary climate control, lighting and proprietary seed pods that the Canadian Maker had been seeking.


Unhappy with the products on the market today, William decided to take matters into his own hands. So in true DIY fashion, the Maker converted a conventional Koolatron wine fridge into an Urban Kitchen Garden using an Arduino Nano (ATmega328). The project, which is an entry in this year’s Hackaday Prize, is designed to control the temperature, humidity and soil moisture for a wide range of micro-greens, including basil as seen in his video below. A simple 12V LED spotlight was hacked for the lighting element, while a Nokia 5110 LCD was tasked with displaying its parameters.


William also added a real-time clock module to monitor the time of day as well as a fan to the machine. However the Maker notes that, in future iterations, he is hoping to ventilate the unit so that the heat can escape from inside the chamber. Aside from that, its unique setup allows for additional components, such as a peristaltic pump for automated watering based on the plant’s soil moisture, should he choose to include them.

Looking for a countertop garden of your own? Head over to the Maker’s page here. In the meantime, see it in action below!

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